Box-headed Blood-bee - Sphecodes monilicornis

Description

One of three medium-sized to large Sphecodes (Blood-bees), in which females have punctures (rather than just rugosity) behind the ocelli.  Males are one of a number of species with somewhat compressed and shiny antennal flagellar segments and are best confirmed using genitalia.

Similar Species

S. monilicornis is easily separated from the other two (S. gibbus and S. reticulatus) by the box-shaped head when seen in top view, with the hind corners well formed. The hairs of the hind tibiae are also whitish rather than dark like the other two, and the pygidium is broader.

Identification difficulty
Habitat

Wherever the hosts are found.

When to see it

Females fly from late March to mid-September. Males from July to September.

Life History

Cleptoparasite of several species of ground nesting bee including Lasioglossum calceatum, albipes and malachurum.

UK Status

Widespread and locally common in the southern half of Britain with records extending north to Scotland.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map